Bucks Rumors

Central Notes: Crowder, Drummond, Sirvydis, Bitadze, Cavs, Garland

The Bucks are a potential suitor for Jae Crowder, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his podcast (hat tip to RealGM). Milwaukee is interested in forwards in the Crowder mold that can guard multiple positions. They had an interest in a former Pistons forward, according to Lowe.

“The Bucks were sneakily kind of sniffing around Jerami Grant in Detroit before Portland swooped in,” he said. “I think they like the idea of the switchable, switchable, switchable guys.”

Crowder won’t participate in the Suns training camp as they look to move him.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls center Andre Drummond will back up Nikola Vucevic, but Drummond still views himself as a starter, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. The former All-Star signed a two-year, $6.6MM contract with Chicago early in free agency.
  • A trio of Pacers big men are nursing ankle injuries, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Deividas Sirvydis will miss some time after injuring his ankle in a pick-up game last week. Center Goga Bitadze is close, but not 100%, due his gimpy ankle, while Jalen Smith is close to full strength. Sirvydis’ ailment could cost him a shot at a roster spot — he signed a non-guaranteed, one-year contract that included Exhibit 10 language.
  • With the addition of Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers realize that they’re not going to surprise anyone this season, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “I think people know what we’re capable of now,” forward Kevin Love said. “If we put it together, we aren’t a team that’s really going to surprise anybody anymore. We’ve got some young stars that I think are going to make a lot of noise this year.”
  • Fresh off signing a five-year extension, Darius Garland is looked upon as the leader of the Cavaliers, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic writes. “He’s a guy that people want to follow, they want to see him be successful, so it’s his opportunity and his responsibility to lead those guys in that way,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

Jordan Nwora Contract Details

  • Playing strong defense will be crucial for Jordan Nwora as he looks to earn a regular spot in the Bucks‘ rotation this season, head coach Mike Budenholzer said on Monday (link via Eric Nehm of The Athletic). “He’s maturing and he understands it’s a big priority for us for him to get on the court, for him to help us,” Budenholzer said. “Everybody’s gotta be able to defend at a high level. He’s gotta prove it now, every day in camp, and he’s off to a good start.”
  • Nwora, who just re-signed with the Bucks on a two-year deal, will have guaranteed base salaries of $2.8MM and $3MM on his new deal, with additional bonuses of $200K per year if the team gets to the second round of the playoffs, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links). As Nehm relays, Nwora referred to restricted free agency as “kind of a blessing and curse” and praised the job his agent and the front office did to make a deal.

Horst: Ingles May Return In December

  • Bucks forward Joe Ingles could return to action as early as December, according to general manager Jon Horst, ESPN’s Jamal Collier tweets. Ingles, who signed a one-year, $6.5MM contract with Milwaukee early in free agency, is recovering from a torn ACL.

Bucks Re-Sign Jordan Nwora To Two-Year Deal

SEPTEMBER 26: Nwora has officially re-signed with the Bucks, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 25: The Bucks are bringing back restricted free agent small forward Jordan Nwora on a two-year, $6.2MM contract, agents Mark Bartelstein and George Roussakis tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Nwora, 24, averaged 7.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.0 APG, over 19.1 MPG, across 62 contests for the Bucks in 2021/22, including 13 starts. He posted shooting splits of .403/.348/.837 last year.

Nwora was selected with the No. 45 pick in 2020 out of Louisville. Though he played a relatively limited role with the club as a rookie, Nwora was a part of the team’s 2020/21 championship-winning roster.

During Bucks Media Day remarks to the press earlier today, team president Jon Horst alluded to the fact that Nwora was slated to join the team for the start of training camp Monday, tweets Jim Owzcarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The 6’8″ swingman will be the 15th player to receive a guaranteed 2022/23 salary from the Bucks, so the team’s regular season roster looks pretty much set.

There had been some uncertainty about whether Milwaukee would be willing to carry a 15th man into the regular season, since doing so will push the team’s salary further over the tax line. Unless a trade is coming before opening night, it appears the club is comfortable taking on that extra cost.

Hill Contemplated Retirement, Middleton Expected To Return Early In Season

  • Bucks veteran George Hill seriously contemplated retirement this offseason, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets. Instead, Hill decided to return to Milwaukee, committing to play his 15th NBA season. “I do owe the city a better George than last year,” he said. Given that he’s 36 years old and already considered it this offseason, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Hill retires at the end of the 2022/23 season.
  • The Bucks are hoping to get star swingman Khris Middleton back early in their season, general manager Jon Horst said, as relayed by Lily Zhao of FOX6 (Twitter link). The 31-year-old, who underwent surgery in August to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist, is doing well in his recovery, Horst added. Middleton is coming off his third straight season of averaging more than 20 points, having put up 20.1 points per contest on 44% shooting last year.

Khris Middleton Hopes For Long-Term Stay With Bucks

  • Khris Middleton could become a free agent as soon as next summer if he turns down a $40MM+ player option for 2023/24. While he’s not sure how his contract situation will play out, the standout wing tells Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he wants to stay with the Bucks long-term. “I think everybody knows that. Even though I know you’re really not supposed to say it for all the reasons out there, but I think everybody knows deep down that I want to stay,” Middleton said. “But also, you know it’s a business. Things change, things happen. You just never know. For sure I would love to stay, if everything works out.”
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic poses a series of questions for Bucks players to answer this season, including whether Grayson Allen‘s playoff struggles vs. Boston were a fluke or a harbinger of things to come.

Bucks Sign Marques Bolden

10:16am: As expected, Bolden received an Exhibit 10 contract, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

7:36am: The Bucks have signed free agent center Marques Bolden to a contract, according to the NBA transaction log at RealGM and the team’s official website.

While the terms of the deal aren’t known, it’s almost certainly a non-guaranteed training camp contract, likely with an Exhibit 10 clause. Milwaukee has been shuffling players on and off its roster within the last week as the club prepares for training camp and lines up players for its G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd.

Bolden, 24, has spent most of his professional career in the G League since going undrafted out of Duke in 2019. In 69 career appearances for the Cavaliers’ and Jazz’s NBAGL affiliates, he has averaged 10.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 23.1 minutes per contest.

The big man also spent time in the NBA with Cleveland from 2019-21, first on a 10-day contract and later on a two-way deal, playing a very limited role in seven games for the Cavs.

It’s unclear if Bolden will remain on the Bucks’ roster for training camp next week or if the team plans to waive him before then and have him eventually suit up for the Herd. For now, his G League returning rights are held by the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah’s affiliate, so a trade would be required for Wisconsin to acquire those rights.

The Bucks currently have 19 players under contract.

Bucks Waive Ibou Badji

The Bucks have waived undrafted rookie Ibou Badji, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

Badji was signed on Monday to an Exhibit 10 contract. Badji will be eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate.

Badji, who turns 20 next month, spent the 2021/22 season with Forca Lleida CE of the LEB Oro, Spain’s second league. In 37 games (19.9 MPG) last season, the Senegalese center averaged 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 1.2 BPG, according to his NBA.com draft profile.

Bucks Waive Iverson Molinar

The Bucks have waived combo guard Iverson Molinar, according to NBA.com’s official transactions log.

Molinar, who went undrafted out of Mississippi State, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Bucks after averaging 17.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.6 APG and 1.2 SPG on .454/.252/.868 shooting in 34 games (34.1 MPG) as a junior in 2021/22. He also played for Milwaukee’s Las Vegas Summer League squad in July.

A member of last season’s All-SEC First Team, Molinar appears likely to spend his first professional season with the Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks’ G League affiliate. His Exhibit 10 contract will put him in line for a bonus worth $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Herd as an affiliate player.

Molinar will likely team up in Wisconsin with Alex Antetokounmpo and Rob Edwards, who have also been signed and waived by the Bucks within the last week.

Following Molinar’s release, Milwaukee now has 19 players officially under contract. Restricted free agent Jordan Nwora still doesn’t have a new deal in place with training camps right around the corner.

Bucks Sign Ibou Badji To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Bucks have signed undrafted rookie Ibou Badji to an Exhibit 10 contract, league sources tell our JD Shaw (Twitter link).

Badji, who turns 20 next month, spent the 2021/22 season with Forca Lleida CE of the LEB Oro, Spain’s second league. In 37 games (19.9 MPG) last season, the Senegalese center averaged 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 1.2 BPG, according to his NBA.com draft profile.

The Bucks have also signed undrafted rookie Iverson Molinar to an Exhibit 10 deal, Hoops Rumors has learned. The news of his signing was first reported back in June, but wasn’t official until now.

In 34 games (34.1 MPG) as a junior for Mississippi State last season, the Panamanian guard averaged 17.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.6 APG and 1.2 SPG on .454/.252/.868 shooting. For his efforts, he earned a berth on the All-SEC First Team.

Hoops Rumors can also confirm that Alex Antetokounmpo, who was recently waived by the Bucks, received an Exhibit 10 deal.

Exhibit 10 deals, which are non-guaranteed, would make Badji and Molinar eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if they’re waived before the season starts and spend at least 60 days with the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate.